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AIR AS AN INSTRUMENT OF LIFE.
That air is best which is pure, dry, and temperate ; untainted with noxious damps, or putrid exhalations, from any cause whatsoever; but the surest mark of good air in any place, is the common longevity of its inhabitants.
SLEEP AND WAKEFULNESS.
SLEEP and wakefulness bear a great affinity to exercise and rest. Different constitutions require different measures of sleep. Moderate sleep increases perspiration, promotes digestion ; cherishes the body, and exhilarates the mind.
Wakeful people should, nevertheless, keep in bed, and lie as still as a mouse, if they would go to sleep; and, whether or not, the quiescence which they enjoy will in a great measure answer the purposes of sleep. The best way, under these circumstances, to procure sleep, is to indulge in some pleasing reverie; some ambitious project of future life—some great enterprize, in which you should like to play the first fiddle, &c. The warmth of the imagination thus exercising itself, will at length fatigue the wakeful mind, and it is a chance if Morpheus does not embrace both you and all the chimera by which he was invited.
Excessive sleep renders the body heavy and inactive, impairs the memory, and stupifies the senses.
Excessive wakefulness dissipates the strength, produces fevers, and wastes the body.
He who sleeps through the day, and wakes through the night, inverts the order of nature, and anticipates
Sleep after dinner is a bad custom-though “forty winks” in a recumbent posture, or sitting in an armchair, may occasionally tend to quiet an overloaded stomach.
A late supper of heavy materials is an enemy to sleep.
Going to bed without any supper often prevents sleep.
Nothing exhausts and enervates the body more, or hurries on old age faster, than premature concubinage; and hence the ancient Germans are extolled by Tacitus for not marrying before they arrived at full vigour,
Tarda illis venus, et pares validique miscebantur.
The praises of women and wine have been mutually sung: the subjects are captivating, and require all the vigilance of stoicism not to be too much taken with either.
Trahit sua quoque voluptas.
Since the time is but short from our birth to our tomb,
Thus Anacreon of old sung, and why should not we?
To let reason be drowned in full bumpers of wine,
That the grape was bestow'd anxious care to assuage,
Far less would we mean the fair sex to despise ;
'Tis the pleasures of reason we wish to approve;
Ennobled by these, let us banish despair,